Mumbai Junction (231 Watford Road) Planning Application


We are pleased to announce the the planning application has been refused for several reasons, including:

  • Excessively bulky design
  • Inappropriate design in relation to adjacent Sudbury Court Conservation Area
  • Poor standard of accommodation
  • Inadequate assessment of overshadowing on adjacent properties
  • Unacceptable overlook and loss of privacy to adjacent properties
  • Contrary to Brent Development Management Policies, London Plan and Brent’s draft Local Plan
  • Inadequate cycling provision

The full reasons for refusal are available here and on the council website.

We are grateful for the support of residents and Councillors McLennan and Perrin in our objection.


Mumbai Junction – John Lyon (231 Watford Road)

is threatened with demolition so 43 flats can be built

How to object to the Planning Application 21/3679

The best way to object to this planning application is via the Brent website (link shown below) or you can write to Planning Dept via email to: (please include your address in the email).

You could also write to Planning Department at the Civic Centre by snail mail. 

Brent Planning Portal

Alternatively you can search the Brent website using the above reference or using the ‘Simple’ search option for 231 Watford Road. More details will be available on the SCRA website. Click on the View / Make Comments tab, you will need to register and log in to make comments, this is found at the bottom of the web page. You can then move to making your comments about this application for 231 Watford Road.  Comments must be submitted by 18th November at the latest. If enough people say that the proposal is unsuitable for the area then we stand a good chance of stopping this, by enough, I’d hope for 1,000.

As you can see the proposed building towers over its neighbours, there are no architectural similarities with the surrounding buildings, and the neighbours’ homes will be substantially overlooked. The massing of the proposed development is overbearing and monolithic with little to relate it to the Conservation Area.

The John Lyon name has historic value, John Lyon founded Harrow School 500 years ago, and his legacy still funds local charitable works such as Sudbury Neighbourhood Centre. In the last two decades the John Lyon has changed and adapted to the local population, it is without doubt a place where everyone can go, it therefore contributes to our community cohesion and understanding of each other. The loss of this community asset and meeting place within walking distance of over 3,000 plus homes, a large licensed property, would deal a devastating blow to the local community and would force the residents to drive to other destinations much further afield thus reducing Active travel in the area.


So, how should you phrase your objection to make the biggest impact? There are many different planning policies at play here, but the main points to make are:


  • Brent Core Policy 17 – Protecting and Enhancing the Suburban Character of Brent

The distinctive suburban character of Brent will be protected from inappropriate development. The council will bring forward design guidance that limits development, outside of the main town centres and away from corner plots on main road frontages, which would erode the character of suburban housing. Development of garden space and infilling of plots with out-of-scale buildings that do not respect the settings of the existing dwellings will not be acceptable.

  • The proposal is monolithic in design and without doubt overbearing, it swamps all the surrounding properties, even the four storey shops.
  • The loss of one of our last large well frequented Public Houses / Restaurant
  • The loss of a valuable Community Asset that enhances community cohesion.
  • The proposed building site is within an Area of Distinctive Residential Character (ADRC) and will have a detrimental effect.
  • This 1950’s Public House sits in a line of similar style properties from the 1950s, its removal would certainly damage this consistent architectural heritage.
  • Its proximity to the Sudbury Court Conservation Area (SCCA) with have a detrimental effect on it.
  • The design of the proposed building, simplistic in the extreme, its height and massing are unacceptable and overbearing, there are recent builds on our local main roads that better reflect their surroundings such as the flats on East Lane opposite Pasture Road, the flats between Court Parade and Wakeling Lane, the St Georges flats on the junction of Sudbury Court Drive and Sudbury Hill and finally the flats on Watford Road either side of Stilecroft Gardens, the one to the south being a perfect match to its surroundings and ignores the petrol station architectural style/leads. All these recent properties are very sympathetic to their surroundings, being only up to four storeys high, all have pitched roofs, dormers where appropriate and to gain the fourth floor, and a smattering or Tudorbethan where appropriate. None of these developments over the last 20 years have deviated from this complimentary design style which respects the surrounding area.
  • Brent’s Planning Policies imply they will protect Public Houses, we expect them to apply here.
  • There will be a loss of housing and employment for several staff members adding to Brent’s homeless list.
  • Sudbury Court Drive flooded at this location several times this year, it is becoming more frequent.
  • There is limited on street parking available for the almost certain transfer parking being produced by this proposal, the locale is already parked at 100% plus, this addition will almost certainly have permanent damaging effect on the local businesses.
  • The access to the site is severely restricted by the narrowness of the Service Road and the current on street parking load. A 7.5 Tonne weight limit is being imposed on the Service Road due to damage being inflicted on parked vehicles, grass verges and street trees. The site access during construction will be into a very restricted access to the Service Road just a few yards from a very busy roundabout. The alternate access from Watford Road would be extremely dangerous and is an accident black spot with at least one death attributed to.
  • Brent’s Planning Policies document quite clearly that the area in question was designed for motor vehicles and that the Public Transport is poor, because of this the adoption of active travel will be an extreme challenge. The current cycleways are few and generally not fit for purpose.
  • The three street trees (Ash) will be in jeopardy from the building works and deliveries thereafter.
  • Those living on Amery, SCD and Watford Road – if you have seen Bats at the bottom of your garden, you must say so. They are a protected species and may well be living in the John Lyon due to its seclusion and warmth.
  • In summary the proposal is far too large, it does not respect its proximity to the CA or it being within an ADRC, it overlooks and is overbearing in nature to its neighbouring properties. The current 1950s building with pitched roof and period facade fits admirably within its surroundings. The proposal would be a eyesore within its surroundings.
  • No Affordable Housing, below standard number of family homes.